Yesterday I was doing a little search trying to find an app that would do decent animation with text that could be imported into Flash and I stumbled across Vectorian Giotto. No it’s not some fancy latte but actually a Flash replacement app that at first glance seems to be fairly useful, if you don’t have the ability to purchase Flash itself. At first glance the interface does seem dated but it’s actually not a bad program to use. It’s one flaw I can find preventing it from being a true replacement is not being able to dictate what frame is displayed on a keyframe inside a symbol. Still, your results may vary.
Here’s a few tidbits from their site:
Created for designers, not coders
Giotto is the free Flash animation package made for you to design, not to code. With Giotto you can relax and focus your imagination on creative concepts, integrating stunning graphics and music into masterpieces of design.
The latest versions of Adobe® Flash® are moving away from designers. They are becoming more and more oriented towards coders. With the introduction of ActionScript 3, creating a simple action such as button click now requires ten times more coding than before.
Giotto has full support for ActionScript 2, but we made built-in effect generators that will help you create outstanding effects without any scripting at all. This software is made for you, designers.
Vector drawing, animations, sounds, filters…
Create complex vector illustrations in Giotto, anything from simple shapes to custom ones like polygon, star, or rounded rectangle. Transform vector objects in any imaginable way. Use bitmap filters like blur, drop shadow, glow, and all blend modes.
Organize all objects in the Library, create symbols like Movie Clips and Buttons for multiple use. Add text fields, with font kerning and paragraph alignment.
Animate objects with motion tweens and shape tweens. Add sound to movies and create advanced interactivity.
Powerful animated effects without any scripting at all
Giotto comes packed with more than 50 great effects that can be applied to both shapes and text. All effects are fully and easily customizable through the effect editor, and the results are immediately visible on the screen for you to play and explore.
There are more than 100 effect presets, to show the new user the different ways the effects can be adjusted.
These effects are based on ActionScript, but you don’t need to know the code behind them. Creating a perfect banner has never been easier!
Color palette editor that you can actually use
One of the main advantages of Giotto is its built-in editor for color palettes. Most color palette editors out there are quite useless, but we made Giotto’s very applicable in real life.
The Color palette editor uses special algorithms based on human perception of colors, rather then traditional mathematical models which produce poor results.
Once you select the base color of your project, you would have countless options to create palettes using many various matching algorithms. This makes the start of your new project quite easy!
User interface very similar to Adobe® Flash®
Switching from one animation software to another can be hard. We hate learning to use completely new software as much as you do. That’s why we created Giotto’s user interface very similar to Adobe® Flash® and simplified it further in order to enable designers to achieve results easier and faster.
Although it’s freeware, there’s no lacking of major features, and everything is where you think it should be – tools, context menus, object properties… so you will have the sense of familiarity and ease of use from the very first moment you open it.
We have added some new elements like natural color palette editor, effects generator, and other tools that create stunning effects without ever touching the ActionScript.